Central Bank of St. Louis

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  • Labor Day weekend ideas for everyone

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    The unofficial end of summer is here.

    Labor Day weekend is both enjoyed and slightly revered because while students and offices everywhere take the day off, it's also a time when many see as summer is coming to a close. While the weather will still be relatively warm outside, early closings at some offices are a thing of the past starting the first full week of September.

    But with no days off in August, many families and individuals have come to look forward to Labor Day because of the long weekend. The opportunities to plan something fun and exciting are plentiful.

    Whether you'll be in the early weeks of a new college semester or looking to escape the office early on Friday, Sept. 2, here are some ways you can spend that three-day weekend without breaking the bank.

    Stay at home, relax and grill

    Labor Day became an official federal holiday back in 1894 as a way to celebrate laborers. At the time, workers across the country were starting to demand better working conditions, and to do so, they formed labor movements and trade unions.

    These days, such extreme working conditions are unheard of, but that doesn't mean you may not feel overworked at times. From manual labor to dealing with difficult clients over email, you've likely faced your fair share of hair-pulling moments.

    With Labor Day weekend, that extra day could be more relaxing than you know. Not only do you get Monday off, but your office may even allow you to leave work early that Friday. But once you're at home, what should you plan?

    Avoid anything that will tire you out too much. Lounge around the house for a few hours to catch up on television shows or a movie you've been wanting to see. During this weekend, you should try your best to avoid engrossing yourself in any work-related matters. If you find yourself working Labor Day weekend, you won't be able to enjoy the full slate of offerings. You may even cause tension to boil over with friends and family if you neglect them for work, as Newsweek pointed out [1].

    One of those offerings is a staple of Labor Day: grilling. Since the weather is still warm, fire up the grill, invite friends and family over and have a fun evening. Even better, you can plan the cookout for Sunday night and not have to worry about getting up early the next day. Food Network has a list of tasty recipes you might want to try [2]. 

    Consider throwing a potluck by asking all of your guests to bring an appetizer, entree, or dessert. This way, you'll be able to save on food-related expenses and not have to foot the entire bill.

    man grilling meat on a barbecue grillInvite friends and family over for a Labor Day barbecue.

    Hit the town

    Many cities and towns often hold events during the three-day weekend. Parades are another common occurrence. You can find more information about the specific time and route most likely through the city or town's official website.

    "Many cities and towns often hold events during the three-day weekend."

    The weekend is also a good time to explore what the area has to offer. Even if you've been a lifelong resident, there may still be parts you've yet to explore. In other instances, you can take your loved one out to the newest restaurant. But be sure to book a reservation in advance because Labor Day weekend is a busy time for many food establishments.

    If you're looking to explore the city or town but avoid the crowds of street festivals or an expensive dinner, there's nothing wrong with going to the nearby park or beach to take in the sights and sounds of nature. You can even visit the grocery store before and bring along some tasty finger foods.

    Head home

    Most universities around the country start toward the end of August. If you're a student, you may even be sitting in your dorm room or apartment right now.

    Labor Day weekend is the first major break for students, and it's one you shouldn't let go to waste. Freshmen who may be attending an in-state school and are only a few hours from home can use this weekend to head back for some home-cooked meals while telling family about the early days of college.

    But to get home you'll need to book a ticket there and back. Start setting aside some money to put toward the bus or train ticket. The earlier you reserve a seat, the less stressed you'll find yourself and you may be lucky enough to find cheaper prices. By starting the budgeting process earlier, you'll ensure you have enough money to head home.

    If you're an upperclassmen, don't hesitate to also head home. You may need to pick up some more personal belongings, or you may find it worthwhile to enjoy the time before your studies pick up in the coming weeks.

    Whether you're an office worker or a student, there are plenty of ways to spend Labor Day weekend.

    [1]. Why can't we enjoy a three-day weekend every weekend?

    [2]. Cookout Classics for Labor Day



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